Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Profile: Kristy Kuches, Academic Coach, Heritage Middle School, Volusia County Schools, Deltona, FL

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Profile: Kristy Kuches, Academic Coach, Heritage Middle School, Volusia County Schools, Deltona, FL

Article excerpt

>>IN THE BEGINNING ...

When I started teaching in 1993 we had three computers, each with the old black screen and green letters. The kids were supposed to go on them once a day, but it was really just typing instead of writing, and I felt they were getting nothing out of it. It wasn't until we got the internet with LCD projectors in our classroom that I began to see the potential for technology. Suddenly we could go to educational websites and project them for all the kids to see. Still, a lot of the technology I had seen wasn't user-friendly, and I couldn't quite figure out how to adapt it to a class of 35 kids. The next year, 2006-2007, I was introduced to elnstruction's CPS student response system--the "clickers." That was really my "aha" moment regarding how technology could enhance learning.

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>>WHEN THINGS STARTED TO CLICK

In 2006-2007, I had a job that was created for me at Osteen Elementary in Volusia County. Our math scores were not what we wanted them to be, so one day a week students would come to a "math lab" in which I would use a game-based approach to help make the students love math. The clickers gave me feedback that would have taken hours to get from grading papers. You ask a question and they send in their answers, then you see a graph on the screen showing how many students chose each answer. But the best part was that the kids thought we were playing a game. They didn't even see it as work. The following year I moved to Heritage Middle School and was thrilled to find three sets of clickers collecting dust in the media center. They were on daily checkout but the media specialist told me no one ever used them because they didn't know how. So I offered to help the other teachers learn, and soon I had to approach the principal about purchasing more. That eventually led to my current position of academic coach.

>>CLASS COACH

My full-time position is now to help the teachers be the best they can be, whether it's through technology or helping them with classroom management or lesson design. …

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